Are Cloudy Egg Whites Safe to Eat?

Are Cloudy Egg Whites Safe to Eat?

Unlike commercially produced, processed food and beverages, eggs can vary in appearance and composition quite a bit. They come out of a chicken, not a factory, which means these variations are to be expected, not only from chicken to chicken, but from egg to egg. I once bought a carton of eggs that had 11 double yolkers. (I thought I was a witch, but luckily that kind of thing isn’t frowned upon anymore.) Eggs are sort of a gamble, is what I’m saying, but variations in appearance can be startling.

My parents recently acquired some chickens (they came with their new house out in the country), which has been great, because I’ve only had to buy eggs once in the past six months. Fresh eggs, straight from the chicken (or purchased at the farmers market), can have even more variation than those available at the grocery store. Sometimes the shell is wrinkled, sometimes the egg is quite small, and sometimes the white is cloudy.

If you’re used to seeing perfectly translucent egg whites, a cloudy one can be startling, but there is no cause for alarm. In fact, it’s a cause for celebration. A cloudy white is an indication that your egg is super fresh. That turbidity is due to dissolved carbon dioxide that hasn’t had a chance to escape through the shell, and it will not affect the taste of your egg in any way whatsoever.

A pink white, however, is not something you want to eat. According to the USDA, a pink tinge or pearly-looking white “indicates spoilage due to Pseudomonas bacteria.” This is different from a blood spot in the yolk, which are caused by a “rupture of one or more small blood vessels in the yolk at the time of ovulation,” but are still perfectly safe to eat. (If you’re squicked out by the sight of blood, just scramble it.)


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